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Title:Working Cancer Patients' Attitudes Toward Themselves and Change in Vocational Activities
Author(s):Staley, Judith Carlene
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Work
Abstract:Some cancer patients experience changes in their vocational activities that are not explainable by physical condition alone. This exploratory study focused on changes in cancer patients' vocational activities following the diagnosis, their work-related attitudes, and their perceptions of the attitudes of others in the work place toward them. The purpose was to determine whether the variable of working cancer patients' attitudes and perceptions of attitudes was related to the variable of vocational activities, and if so, the strength of the association.
Sixty-one vocationally active individuals found in a systematic sample of cancer patients from a cancer center serving a predominantly rural area were the study subjects. They were employed and working, self-employed and working, or employed but not working. Data collection consisted of two interviews a few months apart. The interviews were done with pre-coded, standarized interview schedules.
Items from the two interview schedules were the basis for indexes of vocational changes and of attitudes that were used in the data analysis. Recent vocational changes frequently correlated significantly with attitudes. That is, those subjects who had recently experienced vocational changes were likely to have the most negative attitudes. These recent vocational changes included change in planned length of work life of employed and self-employed subjects, change in work status of employed subjects from the first to the second interview, and temporary changes postdiagnosis for employed subjects. Change in planned length of work life was the only vocational change involving both employed and self-employed subjects to correlate significantly with the attitude index incorporating perceived attitudes of employers. Subjects who experienced a change in how long they planned to work perceived employers' attitudes to be more negative than subjects who had no change.
Social work intervention is needed with working cancer patients at the points where physical symptoms become problematic for these individuals. At these points, cancer patients face an increased risk of leaving or being pushed out of the labor force. Interpersonal problems also come to the fore at these times. Intervention in the work place could help to increase the flexibility and sensitivity of employers and prospective employers in dealing with workers with cancer.
Issue Date:1985
Description:215 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600323
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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